Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 8)

God Wants More Than Our Leftovers

Our lives are meant to be lived with purpose.  But so many times, we get too busy....and distracted.  We end up living busy lives, and not purposeful ones.  We end up working too much, playing too much, and having zero availability for God, either from a time or money perspective.

That is not God's plan for our lives.  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  God's plan is for us to live an abundant life filled with intentional and persistent focus on Him and with proclaiming Him to those around us (and throughout the world).  God is at work and He wants us to join Him - not because He needs us, but because it gives Him glory and gives us delight to do so!

But we are too often content to throw God our scraps rather than giving Him our passion.  We can't be Life Changers if we don't pursue God with our all.  Proverbs 3:9-10 says "Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; So, your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine."  It's an incredible principle that God sets forth throughout scripture.  Prioritize God -first-, and you will live an abundant life.  A life of blessing.  The promise is not about financial blessing, but of a life of purpose, joy and heavenly treasure-focused. 

Prioritize God with you time - have you ever thought about tithing your time?  Building margin into your life so that you can tithe your skills and talents to God's work is a wonderful way to honor God.  And prioritize God with your stuff - "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:21. God wants your heart and that means prioritizing Him with the first fruits of our time and treasure that has come from Him. 

So, how are you doing?  (As I write this, I'm also asking myself "how am I doing"?).  What can you do differently today to be more purposeful about sharing the love of Jesus with a lost and dying world?  Develop a personal and family mission statement that can be your launching pad for a deep and consistent life legacy of pointing others to Jesus.  But don't just write the mission statement - put it into action.  Pray daily for God to open doors for you to serve Him with your first fruits and to make a real and sustainable difference for Him in the world.  Get active supporting your church and efficient organizations that are making a mark on the world for Him.  Global Action is one such organization, but there are many and you need to find your passion for the Lord. 

Let's join together and give Him the first fruits of our lives.  Let's change the world for Him.  We can do it, but it takes our banding together and locking arms as we surge forward together for His glory and for His Name's sake. 

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 7)

We are stronger together

Last week, we had the opportunity to be in Honduras and Guatemala where we graduated 250 pastors and ministry leaders.  It was such a profound and moving time as we soaked in the passion and gratitude toward the Lord that these influencers have.  We were there to teach them and to graduate them from our GLOMOS Foundations program, and yet they taught us much as well!

One man, Marvin, had been abducted at the age of 12 and then forced to fight with the guerrilla fighters in Nicaragua.  Marvin had an amazing story of how God had brought him to faith in the Lord.  He started a church about 10 years ago, with no Bible training and none was available to him, until GLOMOS Foundations. Through tears of joy, he expressed thanks and told us that, since he had started the Glomos training, people started coming back to the church and coming to faith in the Lord.  His church is now at 100 people per week (in a very remote area) and they had just planted a new church that had an additional 50 people attending.  On the night of our graduation dinner, he had a chance to speak to the large group of graduates and guests and he had a great message and reminder - we are stronger together!  He called his friend, his "Timothy", to the stage and they demonstrated how we are to "watch each other's backs."

This is close to God's heart as well.  There are many scriptures that deal with our approaching each other in love when sin is present.  Proverbs 27:17 says "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."  James 5:16 tells us that there is tremendous power in confessing our sins to each other and praying with each other.  

God wants us to thrive in our relationship with him, not just survive in a distracted and half-hearted way.  So, find someone to walk this journey with.  It can be as simple as discussing the 3 questions developed by Casey Sanders at Jesus Spoken Here Ministries:  

  1. Where are you with God right now? What has He been showing you in His Word? 
  2. Tell me about an experience with God you had this week that was undeniably Him. 
  3. Tell me about an experience with God you had this week that was undeniably Him.  

Questions like these, when asked in love, and answered with purpose and vulnerability will bring us closer together and, more importantly, closer to God as we make the effort to regularly seek Him.

 Marvin with his "Timothy."

Marvin with his "Timothy."

Advancing Together with Global Action (No.6)

The beauty of God's love

How do we reconcile Jesus' command for us to abide in Him with our continuing sinful nature? Should we be discouraged because we cannot be victorious over sin?

A sermon by Steve DeWitt of Bethel Church in Crown Point, Indiana, addressed this point and was both challenging and encouraging! The starting point... God's holiness.  1 John 1:5 says, "God is light and there is no darkness at all in Him." God hates sin and cannot tolerate it in His presence. Yet, we are sinners (as evidenced by our daily selfish and wrong actions). The great news is that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and resurrection was a substitutionary act of atonement for our sins (1 John 2:2) and Jesus is an advocate to God on our behalf when we do sin (1 John 2:1). This means that, when we sin, Jesus intercedes and we get the benefit of His perfection and atoning sacrifice.

The beauty of this act cannot be overstated.

When we truly understand this and appreciate it to the point of unconditionally following Him, we don't cheapen Jesus' atoning gift by making purposeful decisions to sin or live selfishly (because we know that we are and will be forgiven). 1 John 3:9 says, "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God." Instead, our understanding of the depth of God's love for us should inspire us to know Him more and to "walk in the light, as He is in the light."

Be amazed at God's great love for you and allow that amazement to cause you to strive for holiness each day! 

 

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 5)

Doing good for God's glory

Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

We often make excuses for not doing good things because we're afraid that if we do something extraordinary for one person, it will be expected of us for all people. This is not biblical thinking. God calls us to do for one, what we would like to do for all - even if we can't do it for all.  

I Peter 4:8-11 instructs us on this further: "Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless-cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything-encores to the end of time."

While each of us can't eradicate poverty or change the world, we can impact those around us for Christ and show them the love of God. It comes one person, one act of love at a time. Find one person for whom you can do good and then do it as unto the Lord.  Or, join with an organization like Global Action that is focused on changing the world for God - one person and one community at a time.

Remember, if we abide in Christ, we WILL bear MUCH fruit (John 15:5). So, don't grow weary while doing good - do good for the glory of God.  Shine the light of His love - one good deed at a time.  We will shine His light and He will get the credit and glory through our acts of love and kindness. 

 

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 4)

Bearing fruit and loving others

God chose you. God chose me. If you are a Christ follower, the reality is that God drew you to Him and chose you to be His representative to the world - to show others how to abide in Him and to bear much fruit. In John 15:16, Jesus tells us, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last [or abide]. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

We are called by God to bear fruit, to love others, to show God's attributes, to speak truth in love, to pursue holiness, and to desire knowing more and more about God. I'm reminded of the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says, "We will abandon it all for the sake of the call." Yet many days, we barely acknowledge God, or worse, we live selfishly. Distractions are not our calling. They do not bear fruit for God. We are to do our very best to the glory of God in everything we do. We are to not allow the distractions and worries of the world to sidetrack us from what God has called us to do. This means being intentional about God's mission for you every day right where God has called you in that moment.

Think of it ... the holy, true, all-powerful creator loved you enough to send His Son as savior and then redeem you for a holy purpose (which none of us deserve). What an honor to be called by Him!

Each day, with each decision, we have a choice to honor God, honor His calling, and reflect Him or to live selfishly and squander His calling. Remain in Him and let His purposes drive your everyday decision-making. Worship Him with your life today. Put Him first and don't be afraid to "abandon it all" for the higher calling of His purpose - bearing lasting fruit for His eternal glory.

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 3)

Imitator's of Christ

Last week, we discussed abiding in Christ and determined that it is remaining in Him and Him in us.  So, how exactly do we do that?  Ephesians 5:1-2 gives us one way, "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and has given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."

Be imitators of God. To do this, we must know Him intimately. We need to be students of who God is and then apply his character to our daily actions.

Walk in love as Christ did. This is a call to selflessness. This is a call to living intentionally.  We need to live for God and others (and not for our selfish desires) so that we can be a sweet-smelling aroma to God. Would God describe the offering of our life as "sweet-smelling" to Him or would it be the opposite?  Does the aroma of our life draw people to God or make them run the other direction?

Become a LifeChanger today by intentionally living an available and generous life.  Available and intentional to God so that you can imitate Him and abide with Him each day (starting with today).  Available and intentional with with your time, money and emotions so that you can be a light to those around you near and far.  Invest in the Kingdom today by investing in your daily walk and in reaching out to others - a LifeChanging legacy and a sweet aroma to God and others!

If you'd like to learn how to prioritize God more or how to abide in Christ, email us here at Global Action and we can talk with you and help you get on track in your walk with and service to the Lord. Let's become LifeChangers together!

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 2)

Abiding in Christ

Jesus said in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing."

Abiding = much fruit. No fruit = not abiding. We all want fruit in our lives, right? Think about it for a second... no one wants to leave behind a life without meaning and purpose. That is the essence of being a Life-Changer for Christ. Making a difference for Him through the fruit of our lives. This means that in order to be a Life-Changer and to make our maximum difference for the Kingdom, we need to be abiding in the Lord each day.

We abide in the Lord when we remain in Him and He in us. (John 15:5) We remain in Him when we prioritize Him before busyness, money, things, and fleshly or worldly desires. "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15). Last week, we talked about the importance of delighting in the Lord - this same principal applies in 1 John 2. We become what we love in our hearts.

Let's do a heart check and see what is driving us and where our affection toward God truly lies ... where are our time, energy and resources spent? If the Lord isn't first in importance here, then it's time for some inward renovation!

Let's abide with the Lord today and follow His lead in our activities and priorities. Begin spending time in prayer and Bible study today. Begin touching lives for Christ every day and watch His love spread!

Advancing Together with Global Action (No. 1)

Delight in the Lord

"Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Prov 37:4) A simple yet profoundly deep and life-changing principal. "Delight" means to take great joy and pleasure in - to derive joy from. If something delights us, we want to experience it more. It drives us and we want to make sure that nothing gets in the way of our experiencing it. Delight in the Lord.

You could read this verse very shallowly and read it as a selfish action - we delight in the Lord SO THAT we get something ... If you do, your missing the point! This is NOT a "Give to Get" formula. Rather, it is selfless and life-changing. As we delight in the Lord, we want to know Him better. We spend more time with Him in prayer. We study His attributes and His desires. We sacrifice for others. We serve Him with our life. We give freely and generously because we are motivated to further the Kingdom. We become more like Him.

As we become more like Him, our desires change from being self-centered, focused on earthly things and pleasures, to being the same as His desires. We gain His perspective and His outlook. As a result, His will is done and, guess what, that IS our heart's desire. We also begin to know Him more intimately. Again, because this is our heart's desire. Old things are passed away and, behold, all things become new.

This simple Proverb can be life changing if you let it soak in deeply. Are your daily decisions motivated by your delight in the Lord? What will give Him the most glory? This is the essence of calling. This is the essence of the Christian walk ... we become like that in which we delight. Are you having trouble consistently abiding in the Lord and walking in His ways? Check your heart; what are you delighting in? Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. To His glory.

Advancing Together with Global Action

Note from the President

Let's grow closer to God, together!

At Global Action, we have a desire to work with all of our ministry partners to grow closer to God. God calls us to pursue Him with our whole hearts. We can pursue him through acts of service in the ministry setting, through prayer, through giving, and through encouragement in the Word.

It is my prayer that our Advance Together devotionals will encourage you in the Word and draw you to Him as we say, "Thank you for your prayers and support of Global Action and the over 7,000 pastors that have been trained around the world."

God is so good, and it is exciting to watch the incredible impact of our collective ministry as we reach the world for Christ. Please email me any questions or feedback to globalaction@globalaction.com. I'd love to hear from you and walk together with you on your personal journey to know Christ and to make Him known.

Blessings,

Bob Smith
Interim President
Global Action

www.globalaction.com

P.S. Want to know more about Global Action or support us financially? Donate today!

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